A versatile instrumentalist, Chris French is an accomplished clarinetist, saxophonist, and flutist. He received B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School. While in New York, he was principal clarinetist of the National Orchestra of New York, and studied with Leon Russianoff, Joe Allard, Charles Russo, and Warne Marsh. After briefly playing with the Orquesta del Estado de Mexico, he returned to Los Angeles (where he grew up) and pursued a career as a symphony orchestra and recording studio musician. In addition to Goshen College, Mr. French is also on the faculty of Indiana University South Bend and St. Mary’s College. He plays regularly with classical and jazz performing groups in Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, and has been featured soloist with many of the Michiana music ensembles. Mr. French has played at the Elkhart Jazz Festival for the past 10 years.
A dynamic Spanish-American composer, Jorge Muñiz has been recognized on two continents for his highly expressive style and refined artistry. The works of Jorge Muñiz have been performed in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the USA. In October 2010, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of the composer’s hour-length Requiem for the Innocent, written in remembrance of victims of terrorism around the world, featuring baritone soloist Ivan Griffin and five choruses. The South Bend Tribune called the work “a creation that is profound, mature and well-proportioned.” Muñiz’s La Nueche de San Xuán was released in fall, 2011 on the CD “La Noche, 21st Century Music for Flute and Harp” by Roberto Álvarez and Katryna Tan, principals of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In January 2012, his oratorio Oda a Jovellanos for tenor, chorus, and orchestra was released on CD and DVD in Spain, featuring Spanish tenor Joaquín Pixan, the Prince of Asturias Choir, and the Asturias Symphony Orchestra. Jorge Muñiz was born in Switzerland in 1974. He earned his Master’s Degree in Composition at Carnegie Mellon University with Leonardo Balada, and his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition from Manhattan School of Music with Richard Danielpour. Muñiz is also the recipient of several grants and fellowships from Fulbright and Rotary International, among others For four years, Jorge Muñiz was a member of the theory faculty at Manhattan School of Music. He is currently Associate Professor of Music, Composition and theory at the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University South Bend.
Edward Randles received his Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from Boston University School of Music and his Master of Music in Double Bass Performance from the New England Conservatory. Mr. Randles is currently Principal Double Bass with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and is adjunct instructor of double bass at Goshen College, Andrews University and Lake Michigan College. He performs with Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and has appeared regularly with Notre Dame Opera, in chamber orchestra appearances with St. Mary’s Chamber Singers (Nancy Menc); Vesper Chorale (Wishart Bell); the Camerata Society (David Seitz), and in other chamber and choral performances. He has appeared in performance of Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion under Helmut Rilling with Valparaiso University and has attended, under full scholarship, the Aspen Music Festival, the Round Top (Tex.) Music Festival, the Waterloo Music Festival (Princeton, N.J.) under Gerard Schwarz, and the Boris Goldovsky Opera Workshop. He lives in South Bend (Ind.) with his wife Helene Randles-Dauerty.
Ramona Kim, a native of southwest Michigan, began her study of the harp at the early age of 7. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Azusa Pacific University in southern California and a Master of Music degree with an emphasis in harp performance from Indiana University South Bend where she studied with Suzann Davids. Ramona also attended the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden (Maine), for intensive study with Alice Chalifoux, former Cleveland Symphony principal harpist. In addition to teaching in her home studio, Ramona is the adjunct professor of harp at Goshen College and Bethel College. She also is the principal harpist for Elkhart Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Lakes in Warsaw, and plays periodically with South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
Erin Yoder is a native of Goshen, Indiana, where she attended Goshen College and earned degrees in both music performance and biology. In addition, she graduated from Northwestern University with a master of music performance in horn. Erin has studied with David Mosley, Bruce Heim, Barry Benjamin, and Arnold Jacobs. She taught applied horn lessons at both Bethel College and Goshen College, and played principal horn in the Maple City Chamber Orchestra. Erin is currently studying at Indiana University with Myron Bloom (modern horn), Richard Seraphinoff (natural horn), and working toward a doctorate in brass pedagogy.
Matthias Stegmann was born in Münster, West Germany, where he began playing the guitar at the age of twelve. He made his first concert appearance at the age of seventeen in Münster. In 1986, after several years of study at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree, he and his family immigrated to the United States where he taught guitar at Marshall University in Huntington (WV) and the University of Rio Grande (Ohio). Mr. Stegmann also pursued graduate studies in Music History and Theory at Ohio University and earned a Master’s degree in classical guitar performance under the supervision of Clare Callahan at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. During his studies in Cincinnati he had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses with Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, David Tanenbaum, Adam Holzman, and Scott Tennant. Stegmann currently teaches Guitar and Audio Production at Goshen College. He also coordinates all recording activities at the college’s music center.
Kevin Vaughn is director of music and organist at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana, and instructor of organ at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana. An active recitalist, Kevin performs solo organ concerts around the country as well as collaborative programs of sacred music for voice and organ with baritone Stephen Lancaster. Recent appearances include solo recitals for the Friday Pipes Series (St. Louis, Missouri), Reith Chamber Series (Goshen, Indiana), Twin Cities Organ Series (St. Joseph / Benton Harbor, Michigan) and the Chadala Emerging Artists Series (New Albany, Indiana); collaborative programs for the Trinity Concert Series and Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg, Virginia); guest accompanist for St. Mark’s Cathedral Youth Choir (Seattle, Washington); and organist for major choral works including Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. He was a semifinalist in the 2013-2014 cycle of the National Young Artist Competition in Organ Performance sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, and in February 2015 he won first prize in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Organ Scholar Competition in Evanston, Illinois. Kevin holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano, organ, and sacred music as well as the AGO’s colleague certificate. He is currently a candidate for the degree Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Notre Dame where he studies with Craig Cramer.
Ben Runkel is a versatile percussionist, educator, and composer who seeks to bring powerful experiences to his audiences through the percussive arts. A native of Naperville, Illinois, Ben was a winner in the WAMSO Young Artist Competition and has been a soloist with the St. Paul Civic Symphony, Elkhart Municipal Band, and Northern Illinois University Philharmonic. Ben has performed locally and internationally including Costa Rica, Millennium Park Chicago, Goshen College, Bethel College, Concord High School, and all across the United States as a member of the Madison Scouts and Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.
In addition to teaching percussion at Goshen College, Ben currently serves as the Percussion Specialist for Concord Community Schools, Elkhart, IN. As a composer, Ben writes and arranges for many groups throughout Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Ben is proud to endorse many fine percussion companies including Mapex and Majestic Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, and to be a member of the Percussive Arts Society. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from Northern Illinois University’s School of Music where his primary teachers were Greg Beyer, Robert Chappell, Rich Holly, and Rodrigo Villanueva.
Dr. Kathryn Schmidt, pianist, enjoys a blossoming career as a performer of solo and collaborative works, teacher, and adjudicator. Kathryn hails from BC, Canada where she taught Piano, Keyboard Literature, Keyboard Musicianship and Piano Pedagogy at Trinity Western University, since 2006. She has a Doctorate of Musical Arts (UBC) with a major in Piano Performance (studying with Henri Paul Sicsic and Jane Coop) and a minor in Musicology. This year, she had articles accepted for publication by both Clavier Companion and American Music Teacher. Kathryn has performed at noted venues including the Chan Centre, the Norman Rothstein theatre, the Telus Studio theatre (Vancouver), the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Winnipeg) and the Wiener Saal (Salzburg, Austria). She has appeared with orchestras in Grand Forks (USA) and Winnipeg. In recent years, Kathryn adjudicated several festivals around BC, and served as the Music Director of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church (Cloverdale, BC). Kathryn currently lives in Goshen with her husband, Kris and two young sons, Jonah and Zachary.
Akira Murotani is a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic trumpet section. He has also performed with the Grand Rapids, South Bend, and Muncie Symphonies and Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra and was a member of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy. Murotani holds DMA and MM degrees from SUNY-Stony Brook, and BM from Luther College, Saskatchewan, Canada. Murotani has studied with Chris Gekker, William Vacchiano, Ramon Parcells, William Scarlet, Ron Anderson, and Ed Lewis. In addition to classical training, Murotani is a jazz enthusiast. He has performed in New York’s well-known jazz club, the Knitting Factory, as well as other venues in the metropolitan New York area and Long Island.
After receiving his Master’s Degree in Tuba Performance from Ohio University, Roger Lewis won the Fellow of Tuba position with the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. After teaching at the Bay View Summer Music Festival, the next step was to begin Doctoral studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he also won the Principal Tuba position with the Evansville Philharmonic where he played for 3 seasons. Currently Roger is Principal Tuba with the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra, The North American Brass Company brass quintet, The Quintessence Chamber Brass and has worked as a substitute with The Boston “Pops”, The Southwest Michigan Symphony, The Detroit Symphony, The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, The South Bend Symphony, The La Porte (Ind.) Symphony and the Elkhart Symphony (having held the Principal Tuba position for 12 years). Roger has studied with Walter Sear, Joseph Novotny, Toby Hanks, Robert D. Smith, Harvey Phillips and Arnold Jacobs.
Christine Larson Seitz is staff accompanist for the Goshen College Music Department. Having previously taught at IUSB, Bethel College (Mishawaka), and Goshen College, she has been a sought-after recital accompanist in Michiana for over 35 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and a master’s in studio accompanying from Indiana University South Bend, studying under Robert Hamilton and John Owings. Since 1978 Christine has been the accompanist and assistant director for the St. Joseph Valley Camerata, and has been the organist at First United Methodist Church in Mishawaka since 1987.
Rosalyn Troiano teaches applied viola for the Goshen College Music Department. Rosalyn holds DMA and MM degrees from the Eastman School of Music where she served as teaching assistant for viola professor, George Taylor. Additional studies in early music include Baroque viola performance with Jane Starkman and chamber music with Kenneth Slowik at the Baroque Performance Institute in Oberlin (Ohio). Rosalyn is the String Director of the Goshen College Community School of the Arts, teaching Suzuki and traditional violin and viola students since 2004. In 2012 Rosalyn became the Program Director for the Youth Honors Orchestras, which is comprised of Elkhart County junior high and high school instrumental musicians selected by audition.
Sandy Hill, coloratura soprano, holds a music education degree from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and a master of music degree in vocal performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Before moving to Goshen, Sandy was artist/instructor of voice at the Wausau Conservatory of Music in Wausau (Wisc.) and taught private voice in Austin Texas. Sandy Hill’s pedagogy emphasizes the importance of vocal technique, the theatrics and staging of songs, a wide variety of repertoire, and a positive and contagious enthusiasm for musical excellence. Her students have competed and won various vocal competitions including ISSMA, NATS, Kalamazoo Bach Festival, and the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition. Sandy also directs Shout for Joy choir for grades 6-8, and teaches voice in the Goshen College Community School of the Arts.
Rebecca Dengler Kaufman is a graduate of Goshen College and received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Colorado. While attending UNC Rebecca appeared onstage as Cherubino inLe Nozze di Figaro and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. She also received 1st place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in the Colorado/Wyoming chapter. After attending UNC Rebecca taught in the music department at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado while performing throughout the Denver Metro area. In Denver, Rebecca was a regular soloist at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral as well as performing in the Opera Colorado chorus. She has appeared as soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Copland’s In the Beginning, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Handel’s Messiah. Currently, Rebecca helps many young Elkhart County students find joy and confidence in singing through vocal instruction. She performs with the Saint Joseph Valley Camerata as well as finding opportunities to serve as soloist in the Michiana area in the midst of raising her three beautiful children.
Deborah Mayer, soprano, recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Gerhilde in Die Walküre in Robert LePage’s new landmark production of The Ring Cycle conducted by Fabio Louisi. She also recently debuted at the Tanglewood Music Festival reprising her role as Gerhilde in Die Walküre with the Boston Symphony. This season she will reprise the Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the South Bend Symphony and sing in Mendelsohn’s Elijah opposite baritone, Nathan Gunn. Other recent performances include Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder in Seoul, Korea with the Daejeon Philharmonic at the Seoul Arts Center for a concert that was telecast nationally with additional performances in Daejeon. Also an accomplished recitalist, Ms. Mayer was invited by the Richard Wagner Society of Bayreuth to present a recital in Bayreuth. She holds the distinction of being the first American awarded a stipendium by the prestigious organization. She was a winner in the Liederkranz Wagner Competition in 2010, and performed in the Winners’ concert at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) in March 2010. She received her Bachelor of Music, and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University and studied with the legendary Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, and his wife, soprano, Virginia Zeani. Deborah currently teaches voice at the University of Notre Dame and Goshen College.